Dhaka, Aug 26 (IANS) Funding continues to be a major challenge for the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh even after two years of the mass influx, plaguing some key sectors like health, protection, nutrition and site management, and putting their lives in jeopardy, a media report said on Monday.
Three quarters of the year has already elapsed with only 35 per cent of the required $920 million having been made available, The Dhaka Tribune said in the report.
On February 15, a Joint Response Plan (JPR) for 2019 was launched in Geneva, seeking $920.5 million to cover expenses for the period between January and December 2019.
About 69 per cent of the $950 million sought in JRP 2018 was met, while around 64 per cent of the $434 million sought under JRP 2017 was provided, the report said.
According to the financial tracking system of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), only $330 million of the appeal for $920.5 million, which is less than 36 per cent, has so far been met.
The funding scenario with regard to other sectors like child protection, communication with communities, coordination, education, emergency telecommunication, gender-based violence, and logistics, was more or less the same.
Government and international officials have expressed their frustration with the flow of incoming money, The Dhaka Tribune report said.
On Sunday, the Refugee Relief and Rehabilitation Commissioner (RRRC) and the Inter Sector Coordination Group (ISCG), comprising UN agencies and NGOs, issued a joint press statement remembering the exodus of the Rohingya two years ago and also highlighted the necessity of a timely availability of funding to look after the refugees.
“Although notable progress has been made on a number of fronts, the Rohingya refugees remain fully dependent on humanitarian assistance in terms of shelter, food, health services, water and sanitation, and the response is critically underfunded,” the statement quoted ISCG senior coordinator Nicole Epting as saying.
On August 25, 2017, Myanmar military launched a campaign against the Rohingya after insurgents of the rebel group Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army attacked multiple security posts, forcing the minority Muslim group to flee in neighbouring Bangladesh.
The refugees have been living in poor conditions in the world’s biggest refugee camp in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar district.
Myanmar classifies Rohingya as illegal Bangladeshi immigrants, denying them citizenship and imposing a number of restrictions, including limits on their freedom of movement.